Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Reprieve

Last night, I got home via the Turkey Creek Trail and prepared for the usual Monday night ride. I decided I would take the Trek out so that I could keep up with the breakaway that almost always forms half-way through the ride. Attempts to chase them on my mountain bike always end in vain. Not only is the mountain bike sluggish, but I'm not nearly as fit as the guys I'm chasing. Those guys aren't likely breaking a sweat, they're probably just riding at their own comfortable pace. I'm just a wimp without a lot of endurance at the elevated output these guys are cranking. I can hold onto them on my 1200 though, with a modest effort.

I got it down off the wall, aired up the tires (which had both slid from 100 PSI to about 65, not bad for a month of dormancy) and then took a look at the temperature trend, just to make sure I was donning proper attire. Then, my email tab showed a new message. It was the ride leader. No ride tonight. He wanted to know if I could show up and lead anyone else who showed up, even though he announced there wouldn't be a ride. Unfortunately, I don't know the new turf well enough to be comfortable doing that. When people ask where we ride, all I can tell them is "sometimes we go out towards Tomohawk, Belinder, and end up going through Fairway." I know we ride on Mission road for a bit. I really don't pay attention to the roads, though. I'm just playing follow the leader. I opted out of leading, since I'd likely run into some dead ends and be more of a hindrance than a helper to those who thought we were riding.

I already had my gear off of the MTB, and it was getting too late to worry about hitting the trails. I enjoyed a nice evening with my wife instead. Later, I rode across the street to acquire some kind of edible substance, and wrapped up the day with precisely 10 miles. 10 bouncy, cold, fun miles. Okay, I'll be honest. I really just wanted to stay home. In my heart of hearts, getting some miles in this month is really nagging on me, but I really didn't feel like riding any more last night. Although I didn't ride over the weekend, I just felt like resting a bit.

Oh yeah... I measured the Turkey Creek Switzer Extention Death Slog-o-Rama with the GPS last night. On 275 feet of trail, there's 49 feet of rise (957 to 1006ft elevation). I think that works out to an 18% slope, if my math is correct and my GPS readings are trustworthy. The Goat spun right up it in second-to-lowest gear, but it's extremely difficult on my road bike. 18% Sounds about right. I replaced most of my decade-old mathematics discipline with other stuff -- probably a craving for sushi -- long ago. Not only did I have to rely on Google Calculator to solve it for me, I probably botched the algorithm entirely. Someone correct me if I did.

So, to complement the reprieve for my legs last night, the temperature also remained above freezing overnight, which was a welcome event for the morning commute.

Over coffee, I inquired about 26" Flip-Flop wheels. To my dismay, JR said he can't get any through his catalog, and that they might either be very rare or flat-out impossible to find. I am kind of considering going fixed on the Outlook with a really spin-happy gear ratio over the winter. For my short commute to and from the bus, it would make more sense than a geared mountain bike, especially once we get lots of snow and find ourselves in the single digits. Does anyone have a bead on a 26" flip-flop or straight-up fixed gear wheel? I know I could easily go with a freewheeling singlespeed, but I'd like to try it fixed, especially since there are no pawls to freeze in the disengaged position. I suppose I could always go singlespeed freewheel and use one of the (rather hideous and unmentionable) methods to thaw it if it ever freezes up.

Random Tunage:
Daft Punk (Live) - Around The World / Harder Better Faster Stronger (Thanks, Jason!)
Delerium Featuring Sarah McLachlan - Silence (Michael Woods Remix)

2 comments:

BadgerLand said...

Noah, contact the guys at Freeride Midwest on Nieman just north of SMPKY. They built an extra free\fixed wheel for me when I needed one in Colorado. As for fixed, if you want to try that, let me know...I have one and it would fit you. They can be a bit squirley at times for new-to-fixed.

Jon said...

An alternative to the standard flip-flop is to use a disc-ready wheel, and bolt a cog to the disck mounts. You can either drill one to fit, or shell out $40.00 for a Boone titanium cog specifically made for bolting to a disc hub.

Disc wheels can be had cheaply enough, that the overall cost may come out the same (Boone cog = $40.00, regular track cog = $25.00 approx.).

You can then space a single cog onto the freehub side for the flip-flop aspect. I did this on my KHS mountain fixie, last year and it worked like a charm.

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